Baylor Bears vs. Wisconsin Badgers Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/27/14
Baylor Bears (26-11) at Wisconsin Badgers (28-7)
College Basketball: Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 7:47 pm (Honda Center)
The Line: Wisconsin Badgers -3.5 -- Over/Under: 137.5 See the Latest Odds
The Baylor Bears play the Wisconsin Badgers in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night.
The Baylor Bears defeated Creighton 85-55 on Sunday to advance to the Sweet 16 for the third time in the last five years. On the season, Cory Jefferson averages a team-high 13.6 points per game, while Brady Heslip is averaging 11.9. Jefferson is also averaging a team-high 8.2 rebounds per contest. Heslip and Kenny Chery are a combined 9-of-19 from 3-point range in the tournament. The Bears, who rank 24th in the nation in rebounding, have dominated the boards by a combined margin of 69-47 in their two games and will be facing a Badgers team that ranks 261st on the glass. When Baylor lost eight of 10 games between Jan. 7 and Feb. 8, few thought that, less than two months later, they would be two wins from the Final Four. The Bears have won eight of their last nine, including wins over Nebraska and Creighton by an average of 22 points last weekend. Baylor is 2-0 in Sweet 16 games under Coach Scott Drew, having defeated Saint Mary's in 2010 and Xavier in 2012.
The Wisconsin Badgers defeated the Oregon Ducks 85-77 on Saturday to advance to the Sweet 16 this week. All five of the Badgers' starter’s average between 9.2 and 13.6 points and all five have made at least 30 3-pointers this season. Ben Brust is their top long-range threat with 89 3-pointers, giving him a school-record 228 for his career, and Josh Gasser is their best percentage shooter, nailing 45.6 percent of his 103 long-range attempts. Junior point guard Traevon Jackson has averaged 17 points, six rebounds and four assists in the tournament while Kaminsky scored a team-high 19 points against the Ducks despite shooting 2-of-7 from the foul line, a strange stat for a 76.6-percent foul shooter who was 10-of-10 over his previous two games. Wisconsin is not a great rebounding team with Kaminsky, by far the Badgers' tallest starter at 7-0, grabbing a total of 11 rebounds in 83 minutes over the last three games. The Badgers have won eleven of thirteen overall, with the two losses coming against Nebraska on the road and Michigan State in the conference tournament two weeks ago.
Baylor was able to dictate the pace of play in their first two games and it will be essential for them in this one. If Wisconsin can control the ball and slow the pace down on both sides of the court it well benefit them in the end. Both teams have a good amount of experience and both coaches have been in this spot before. Baylor has some advantages in the front court that I think will help them keep this game close, if not win outright. I’m taking the points with the Bears in this one.